It has been a busy week for the world oil markets, with crude (read Brent) rallying to five-month highs, a relatively swift recovery of three-quarters of the Texas refining capacity that was shuttered by Hurricane Harvey, and Venezuela thumbing its nose at US sanctions by asking its oil trading partners to switch from the greenback to the euro or other currencies. It was also a week of digesting three major monthly reports on the state of the markets, from the IEA, OPEC, and the EIA. The first two shifted to a more bullish stance on global oil consumption growth this year, while the third revised down its estimates! The decline in OPEC’s August production over July grabbed headlines, and much was made of the group’s marginally improved compliance rates, but these detract from the main story, which is that Libya and Nigeria together continue to cancel out more than half the reductions being made by their peers. OPEC is still not looking for a solution to this problem, sanguine in its outlook that it is doing enough to rebalance the markets. Is it?
Brent trekked up to a five-month high this week, and its futures curve remains firmly in backwardation. We have identified a bunch of reasons behind the strength in the North Sea benchmark, but a rebalancing market is not one of them.
Is Russia trimming crude output under the OPEC/non-OPEC supply cut agreement of last December or is it pumping even more this year? According to OPEC’s latest monthly report, Russian production in the first half of this year dwarfed the level achieved last November, which itself was a post-Soviet high. Why is OPEC not calling out Moscow on this one?
There were two diametrically opposite views this week on the prospects of global oil demand growth from leading agencies. The International Energy Agency and OPEC both raised their forecasts for annual growth in oil use in 2017 compared with their August reports, but the US Energy Information Administration revised down its estimates for the same. We would caution against extrapolating a robust summer demand season in the OECD to the rest of the year.
The OPEC/non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee due to meet on September 22 is expected to discuss the Saudi proposal of monitoring crude exports instead of simply relying on production figures. Even if the meeting doesn’t actually result in a new strategy to measure compliance — a likely outcome, given the complexities involved — it would at least serve to put the errant producers on notice.
Venezuela stopped accepting and making US dollar payments this week in favour of euros for its crude exports and refined product imports. Its considerable oil trade with the US will still be denominated in the dollar, we presume, but the move could lend support to other efforts and voices over the years, prominently from China, Russia and Iran, to move away from the greenback for pricing oil.
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Oil and gas sector is one of the most lucrative sectors for job seekers from industries all over the world. It offers great salaries and benefits packages and an opportunity to travel and work overseas. Due to its high demand, scammers are preying on the vulnerable oil and gas workers. To ensure you don’t fall prey to their mischievous tactics, we would recommend reading our guideline below:
How does scamming occur?
The scammer poses as an employer or recruiter of an oil and gas company or he may claim to be an employee or recruiter for a job consultancy firm catering to the oil and gas industry. They offer irresistible employment opportunities and often demand money in advance to conduct further processes. Money is often demanded on the pretext of work visas, travel expenses, background or credit checks that the job requires.
What do scammers want from you?
It is important to understand what the scammer's agenda is so that it helps you shield yourself from getting conned:
To extract money: On the pretext of getting you a job in the energy sector employing any of the tactics mentioned above
For identity theft: scammers look for valid identity of people and ask for confidential personal details including bank details to commit fraud through your name or to withdraw money from your account.
Whatever be their modus operandi, their goal is to either separate you from your cash or accomplish an identity theft. The bigger problem is, the scammers are getting better at their game and coming up with innovative ideas to lure innocent job seekers. In oil and gas industry, the scammers are targeting the job seekers from overseas, immigrants or contractors as they feel it is easier to attract them on the pretext of work permits, high salaries, paid travel, better lifestyle in the first world countries.
How to spot a job scam and keep yourself secure?
There is always a difference between real and fake, all you need to do is be watchful to notice the underlying discrepancies. There is a pattern that scammers usually follows, which is discussed below. Make sure you watch out for these red flags when you receive any job offer next time:
Free email provider - No legitimate hiring agency or company will use the services of free email provider like Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo. So, if you are receiving an email or have been requested to share your details on emails that use free email services, then be extremely cautious. The scammers try to trick the job seekers by using an email address that looks authentic for instance: [email protected]. It is important to notice here that the ‘xyz’ part of the email ID is usually a gmail, yahoo, etc. which is a free email address. A legitimate job provider would never use.
Fake or new company name - If company name or oil and gas recruitment agency name is mentioned along with the free email id, then do a quick search on the company. Verify its existence and contact them via official email address and contact numbers mentioned on the website. Check their social media presence too. If the website and social media page look new while the company claims to be in business for a substantial amount of time, know for sure that there is something fishy.
Bad grammar and confusing job details - The scammers usually do not pay much attention to structure the mail. You can spot grammatical errors and even the job descriptions are not explained well or is completely different than your skillset and experience. Any authentic mail from a company or oil and gas recruitment agency will ensure an error-free, concise, and clear communication
Fee to conduct a job interview - No legitimate oil and gas company or recruitment agency will ever ask for money to conduct a job interview or to apply to job positions. If the mail says, the money will be refunded once you appear for a job interview, then please do not trust such claims as it is always bogus.
Asking for confidential personal information - Anyone asking for information that you will never put on CV, is a warning sign. It includes your bank details, passport copy, identity cards, your current residential details and so on. No genuine company will ever ask for such details before you sign the offer letter. If by chance, you have shared your bank details or another confidential detail to the scammer, contact your bank and email service provider and register a complaint against it.
Unknown source - There are countries who have strict spam rules and until you subscribe or give consent to the company, they cannot send you emails. So, if you receive an email from a company you haven’t contacted or have not applied for jobs, then be cautious it might be a scam.
The principle on which scammers operate is “Too good to be true”. Don’t entertain any job offer that offers a position, you are not qualified for or offers a salary which is unrealistically high. In the oil and gas sector, be careful not to reveal your passport/work visa details to the scammer. Remember, if you find anything which is way beyond the realistic expectations, then trust your instincts and drop the offer and do not respond.
See our infographic below for a quick summarized glance -
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Searching for the right talent is often a tedious chore for the HR. However, with technological improvements, the usage of app-based recruitment has increased manifold. Recruiters and job seekers are increasingly adopting this new method. A mobile application simplifies the labor-intensive and time-consuming recruitment task and comes loaded with features that help to automate the recruitment cycle. For all the good, app-based approach can do, it still comes under fire from the critics. Here's our take on the pros & cons of App-based talent search.